Fundamentally, scholars assert that advertising plays a critical role in the business environment- it encourages consumers to purchase products and services. This view suggests that the message relayed by an advertiser, coupled with the consumers’ decision to give the message value, can induce purchases. Nonetheless, in his article, “Even a pandemic couldn’t make the public care more about brand purpose”, Murray (2020) argues that advertising is less about the message passed by the advertiser and more about showing that the latter can afford to say it. However, I contend Murray’s opinion because the existence of cognitive dissonance and the fact that individuals require market information to purchase goods that are above satisfactory products suggests that the advertising message is vital in marketing and influencing consumers’ purchasing behavior.
First, I contend that the effectiveness of advertising is merely in cost signaling because of the existence of the concept of cognitive dissonance among consumers. As the literature suggests, cognitive dissonance is typical among consumers, whereby the latter develops conflict about a decision after the decision is made (Sheehan, 2004). For example, an individual may experience an internal conflict after purchasing a smartphone worth thousand of dollars. However, this conflict can be offset by referring to the message relayed during an advert about the smartphone, to reassure oneself that the purchase and amount spent is worth the quality of the product. If we consider this example, it is evident that the message relayed during the advert is more effective compared to cost signaling as opined by Murray.
Furthermore, besides the satisfactory goods, consumers require information to guide their purchase of branded products. For example, one may not have adequate knowledge about the existence of a durable electronic if it is not advertised. As such, advertising is more effective when it passes a message to consumers rather than cost signaling.
Murray, I. (2020, June 30). Even a pandemic couldn’t make the public care more about brand purpose. The Drum. https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2020/06/30/even-pandemic-couldnt-make-consumers-care-more-about-brand-purpose?utm_campaign=Newsletter_Daily_US&utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email
Sheehan, K. (2004). Controversies in contemporary advertising. SAGE Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781452233130